26th May 2022


MEPs focus on Belarus, digital rules This WEEK

  • European Parliament president David Sassoli (l) will welcome Belarusian democratic opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Strasbourg (Photo: European Parliament)
Listen to article

MEPs are heading to Strasbourg for a plenary meeting even though Covid-19 infections are on the rise all over Europe, and governments are introducing restrictive measures again.

Some 200 lawmakers will stay away because of health safety concerns.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The debate over a successor for David Sassoli, the centre-left Italian president of the European Parliament will heat up next week.

The centre-right European People's Party group will elect its candidate on Wednesday evening (24 November), for the post in January.

Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola and Dutch MEP Esther de Lange are among the candidates, but more can put themselves forward by Monday evening.

The EPP insists that according to the coalition agreement at the start of this parliament's mandate, their group should assume the presidency position.

Foreign debate

On Tuesday (23 November), MEPs will debate the situation in Belarus, and Minsk pushing thousands of migrants to the Polish border, creating a humanitarian and security emergency.

On Wednesday, the exiled leader of the Belarusian democratic opposition Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will address the plenary in Strasbourg.

MEPs will also debate the escalation of tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday.

The leader of the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia, Miroslav Dodik, said that their parliament will take decisions to withdraw from the country's army, courts and tax system this month, risking unravelling the federation that secured peace in the last decades.

On Tuesday (23 November), EU affairs ministers meeting in Brussels to prepare the EU summit in December, and take a closer look at the EU-UK talks on sorting out the post-Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland.

Tough votes

MEPs in the internal market committee will vote on Monday (22 November) on new rules for Facebook, Amazon and Google, within the so-called EU Digital Markets Act.

The new legislation, proposed by commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager last year, would try to roll back unfair practices by the US market-dominating tech giants.

MEPs will also vote in the parliament's Strasbourg plenary meeting on the final approval of the common agriculture policy on Tuesday.

The new rules, which guide the distribution of EU funding, will aim to protect local food-production and promote sustainability in farming.

MEPs on Monday will talks about European strategy for critical raw materials, and a vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

Lithium, beryllium, cobalt and many others are necessary for consumer electronics, health, steel-making, defence, and aviation.

Wrap up

MEPs on Wednesday will debate the results of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will also face MEPs on Wednesday to discuss the results of the results of the October EU summit.

Lawmakers will also have a final vote on the 2022 EU budget, which was secured with talks in governments last week.

Nearly 200 MEPs set to shun Strasbourg over Covid spike

Almost 200 MEPs want to use remote voting rather than attend next week's session in Strasbourg, due to Covid-19 worries. The parliament's senior administrator has instructed staff to follow Belgian four-day home working rules - as has the European Commission.

Central Europe struggles with new Covid-19 wave

A new wave of Covid-19 infections has been sweeping through central Europe, where the vaccination rate is generally below the EU average - partly due to low trust in institutions.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Orbán's new state of emergency under fire

Hungary's premier Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine hours after pushing a constitutional amendment through parliament, where two-thirds of MPs are controlled by his Fidesz party, allowing his government special powers.


When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us